The first incidence of bird flu H5N1 in a wild animal in the United States has been confirmed in a newborn fox in Minnesota, according to state authorities. The fox was discovered outside a fox den in Anoka County, near Minneapolis, unable to utilize its rear legs, according to the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
After a family took it in, it perished in their care overnight and was supposed to be sent to a wildlife refuge the next day.
An infected waterfowl or domesticated poultry from a neighboring farm is believed to have infected the fox, according to Michelle Carstensen, the chief of the state’s wildlife health section.
Authorities with the state’s Department of Health claimed the fox was picked up by the family and taken to a neighboring wildlife refuge approximately three weeks ago. One individual who came into touch with the fox was also tested.
When the fox was discovered, it was suffering from neurological problems and could hardly move on its hind legs. Because it was late, the family decided to pack it up and transport it to a treatment center the next day. Despite this, the animal succumbed to its injuries overnight. Following the instance, foxes in Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and New York are now being tested for bird flu, she added. Last week, two people in Ontario, Canada, tested positive for avian flu.
The risks of bird flu
The instance demonstrates the dangers of avian flu spreading from farmed chickens to other animals, including people.
Earlier this month, a Colorado jail convict became the first person to have tested positive for H5N1 after assisting to euthanize a sick flock at a poultry farm. The person was quarantined with “extremely minor” symptoms but is now assumed to have recovered completely.
More than 24 million hens and turkeys have already been killed as a result of this year’s worst-ever avian flu epidemic in the United States, driving up the price of meat and eggs throughout the country.